That’s how I felt for about 10 minutes when I read the proposed news of a DJ flavoured X-Factor.
HOW VERY DARE HE???
Simple… Because he’s Simon Cowell! He can see the likes of Guetta, Rusko and Skrillex getting a lot of attention and can smell the monies a mile off. Why the devil not? He’s been smashing the arse off other popular forms of entertainment for years. Why shouldn’t he defecate on the decks?
Shucks, it’s not like dance music’s very own ambassadors haven’t been doing it for years anyway. I refuse to believe Guetta – at 157-odd years old – actually enjoys the music he makes. The same can be said for his predecessors; years ago a particular superstar DJ admitted to a colleague that the music he was playing was utter shite. But it paid…. Over £5000 for an hour’s set.
Over inflated wages and egos gave birth to, and continue to nurture, a form of dance music that I’ve publically and professionally sneered at for years. But the ticket-buying kids love it. I loved it when I was a kid. Commercial throwaway bold-as-brass bangers and cheesy mash to fill the kids up for about as long as a generic big burger does (49mins max)… By the time an act hit the mainstream stage 80% of them have forgotten the true essence of why they started. They’ve convinced themselves they always loved pop music and it was always their intention to make over-accessible pocket money fodder. And good for them; they’re making buckets more buckage and living the dream!
The audience this is aimed at won’t know a dickens about the technical beauty of DJing. This competition is based solely on the same fame-hungry, cheesy clichés many DJs have already created for themselves.
Let’s face it; most DJs have always been cheesy entertainers anyway. Sure, a thriving underground culture has existed since the likes of David Mancuso and it remains equally as creative and exciting to this day. Sure, the skill of great DJing is genuinely incredible; the ability to manipulate an atmosphere and physically create a party with a bag of records or bank of wavs will always be a wholly commendable art form. Sure, some DJs also make mindbogglingly satisfying music that constantly develops ideas, offers new challenges and references the past with wit.
BUT... A lot of DJs aren’t in it for any of that deep nonsense. They have the same motivations as every other X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent entrant. Why wouldn’t Cowell try a little fondle on the DJ world’s ever-growing bollocks? You're the new rock stars baby...
Four to the flaws
Quite how he’s going to fondle them is another thing altogether. To the untrained observer, DJs are just pressing the odd button or two. Even the really exciting technical DJs are just pressing a lot more buttons and doing it quicker. Even scratching… No matter how flamboyant the DMC entrants get, it’s only really going to impress you if you know the level of dexterity, ingenuity and YEARS of practice it took to get there.
The audience this is aimed at won’t know a dickens about the technical beauty of DJing. This competition is based solely on the same fame-hungry, cheesy clichés many DJs have already created for themselves. But this is superstar DJ 2.0: Before, DJs still had to play cheesy records with a certain level of skill. For the next generation even the technical aspect of DJing has been eschewed in favour of image, personality and physical performance.
So another cringeworthy, crude and cruel SYCO production, then. There’s only one difference; I’ll be watching every episode. Part intrigued at how the sonic sport of the disc jockey will be manipulated for prime time eye candy and part annoyed at the terrible representation electronic music is likely to suffer.
But I won’t be outraged. No proper DJ should be outraged… This won’t affect the underground where the true art takes place. If anything it’ll boost sales for all forms of electronic music. Kids grow up and either move on or dig deeper and find the bona fide beats that keep dance music progressive and creative.
I should know; just over 10 years ago I was DJing some atrocious music… And I definitely would’ve been entering this!
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